New York Islanders captain John Tavares had one of those seasons in 2017-18. But what grade do you give the captain his work this season?
In 2016-17 New York Islanders captain John Tavares had a down year. With 66 points in 77 games, he wasn’t his usual hyper-productive self. So with a year left on his contract, the thought was going into 2017-18, could he get back to that level he’s always been?
Of course, he could, and did. But unfortunately, everything that John Tavares would do this season would be overshadowed by his pending unrestricted free agency.
That won’t factor into his season grading. I’m simply going to go over his on-ice performances. His contract situation shouldn’t have an effect on his season.
No Contract Issues
The looming free agency or contract extension had absolutely no effect on Tavares. Through 82 games he put up 84 points. On that merit alone he had a fantastic season.
His 37 goals are the second highest ever in his career, and his 47 assists are also the second highest in his career. Only in the 2014-15 campaign, did Tavares score more goals and put up more points. He totaled 86 points in 82 that season.
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Tavares was also as prolific as he’s ever been with a 14.0 percent shooting percentage. Add his career high 52.9 percent faceoff win percentage and the picture is clear that Tavares had one heck of a season.
Yet all I’ve ever heard about Tavares is how he didn’t score a point over five games at the end of February and the start of March. Like that’s something that no one else in the NHL has ever done.
Patrick Kane had both a five and a four-game scoring skid this season. Alex Ovechkin had a four-game skid in December. Both were this season in case I need to make that clear.
Where Tavares should take some heat is the rate at which he was able to control play. With a 49.2% 5on5 Corsi for, Tavares spent most of the time without than with the puck. That’s also the lowest he’s been since his second year in the NHL.
The success that Mathew Barzal and his line saw was the fact that they could maintain a 56.38% Corsi rating. The highest on the New York Islanders last season. If you control the puck you control the play. And Tavares didn’t do enough of that.
Imagine if Tavares had the puck more often? Imagine the type of production he might have?
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For the 2017-18 season, John Tavares gets an A. He had another one of those years where he put up more than a point per game. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, he’s here next season.